Tipperary's Denis Lynch and All Star are aiming for glory at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final.
Tipperary’s Denis Lynch and Louth’s Mark McAuley will bid to become the first ever Irish winners when the much anticipated Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final gets underway on Thursday at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris.
After a host of qualifiers held over the last five months at venues around the globe, 39 of the world’s top riders from 19 different countries have arrived in Paris, hoping to lift the famous World Cup Final trophy which was won last year by America’s McLain Ward and his brilliant mare HH Azur.
Tipperary town born Lynch is no stranger to the World Cup Final, having featured strongly in recent years, including in 2016 when he finished an impressive fifth overall. His mount on that occasion was All Star and Lynch will once again ride the exuberant 15-year-old stallion who is owned by Thomas Straumann.
All Star has in the past shown that he is a horse for the big occasion with many impressive performances at championship level – not least at last years European Championships in Gothenburg where he was part of Ireland’s gold medal winning team.
Ireland is also represented in Paris by Ardee’s Mark McAuley, who makes his first ever World Cup Final appearance having had an incredible 12 months where his career has gone to a whole new level. McAuley will ride the Eva Lundin-owned 14-year-old gelding Miebello and the pair have already shown superb form on French soil when winning the five-star Longines Grand Prix in Lyon last November.
Since its first running 40 years ago, the World Cup Final has produced many top class Irish performances including Eddie Macken, Trevor Coyle, Jessica Kurten and Bertram Allen who have all finished on the podium, but as of yet no Irish rider has taken the coveted top prize.
Thursday’s opening competition is a speed class, getting underway at 7.30pm Irish time with McAuley drawn 13th to jump while Lynch will be 33rd into the arena. This will be followed by the second competition on Friday after which the top 30 will go forward to the final round on Sunday. All faults will be carried forward so everything is to play for when the €1.3 million Longines FEI World Cup Final begins in Paris.